MirBSD manpage: spamd(8)

SPAMD(8)                 BSD System Manager's Manual                  SPAMD(8)


     spamd - spam deferral daemon


     spamd [-45bdv] [-B maxblack] [-c maxcon] [-G passtime:greyexp:whiteexp]
           [-h hostname] [-l address] [-M address] [-n name] [-p port]
           [-S secs] [-s secs] [-w window] [-Y synctarget] [-y synclisten]


     spamd is a fake sendmail(8)-like daemon which rejects false mail. It is
     designed to be very efficient so that it does not slow down the receiving

     spamd considers sending hosts to be of three types:

     blacklisted hosts are redirected to spamd and tarpitted i.e. they are
     communicated with very slowly to consume the sender's resources. Mail is
     rejected with either a 450 or 550 error message. A blacklisted host will
     not be allowed to talk to a real mail server.

     whitelisted hosts do not talk to spamd. Their connections are instead
     sent to a real mail server, such as sendmail(8).

     greylisted hosts are redirected to spamd, but spamd has not yet decided
     if they are likely spammers. They are given a temporary failure message
     by spamd when they try to deliver mail.

     When spamd is run in default mode, it will greylist connections from new
     hosts. Depending on its configuration, it may choose to blacklist the
     host or, if the checks described below are met, eventually whitelist it.
     When spamd is run in blacklist-only mode, using the -b flag, it will con-
     sult a pre-defined set of blacklist addresses to decide whether to tarpit
     the host or not.

     When a sending hosts talks to spamd, the reply will be stuttered. That
     is, the response will be sent back a character at a time, slowly. For
     blacklisted hosts, the entire dialogue is stuttered. For greylisted
     hosts, the default is to stutter for the first 10 seconds of dialogue

     The options are as follows:

     -4      For blacklisted entries, return error code 450 to the spammer

     -5      For blacklisted entries, return error code 550 to the spammer.

     -B maxblack
             The maximum number of concurrent blacklisted connections to
             stutter at. This value may not be greater than maxcon (see
             below). The default is maxcon - 100. When this value is exceeded
             new blacklisted connections will not be stuttered at.

     -b      Run in blacklist-only mode.

     -c maxcon
             The maximum number of concurrent connections to allow. maxcon may
             not exceed kern.maxfiles - 200, and defaults to 800.

     -d      Debug mode. spamd does not fork(2) into the background.

     -G passtime:greyexp:whiteexp
             Adjust the three time parameters for greylisting. passtime de-
             faults to 25 (minutes), greyexp to 4 (hours), and whiteexp to 864
             (hours, approximately 36 days).

     -h hostname
             The hostname that is reported in the SMTP banner.

     -l address
             Specify the local address to which spamd is to bind(2). By de-
             fault spamd listens on all local addresses.

     -M address
             Specify a local IP address which is listed as a low priority MX
             record, used to identify and trap hosts that connect to MX hosts
             out of order. See GREYTRAPPING below for details.

     -n name
             The SMTP version banner that is reported upon initial connection.

     -p port
             Specify a different port number from the default port that spamd
             should listen for redirected SMTP connections on. The default
             port is found by looking for the named service "spamd" using

     -S secs
             Stutter at greylisted connections for the specified amount of
             seconds, after which the connection is not stuttered at. Defaults
             to 10.

     -s secs
             Delay each character sent to the client by the specified amount
             of seconds. Defaults to 1.

     -v      Enable verbose logging. By default spamd logs connections,
             disconnections and blacklist matches to syslogd(8) at LOG_INFO
             level. With verbose logging enabled, message detail including
             subject and recipient information is logged at LOG_INFO, along
             with the message body and SMTP dialogue being logged at LOG_DEBUG

     -w window
             Set the socket receive buffer to this many bytes, adjusting the
             window size.

     -Y synctarget
             Add target synctarget to receive synchronisation messages.
             synctarget can be either an IPv4 address for unicast messages or
             a network interface and optional TTL value for multicast messages
             to the group If the multicast TTL is not specified,
             a default value of 1 is used. This option can be specified multi-
             ple times. See also SYNCHRONISATION below.

     -y synclisten
             Listen on synclisten for incoming synchronisation messages. The
             format for synclisten is the same as for synctarget, above. This
             option can be specified only once. See also SYNCHRONISATION

     When run in default mode, connections receive the pleasantly innocuous
     temporary failure of:

         451 Temporary failure, please try again later.

     This happens in the SMTP dialogue immediately after the DATA command is
     received from the client. spamd will use the db file in /var/db/spamd to
     track these connections to spamd by connecting IP address, HELO/EHLO,
     envelope-from, and envelope-to, or tuple for short.

     A previously unseen tuple is added to the /var/db/spamd database, record-
     ing the time an initial connection attempt was seen. After passtime
     minutes if spamd sees a retried attempt to deliver mail for the same tu-
     ple, spamd will whitelist the connecting address by adding it as a whi-
     telist entry to /var/db/spamd.

     spamd regularly scans the /var/db/spamd database and configures all whi-
     telist addresses as the pf(4) <spamd-white> table, allowing connections
     to pass to the real MTA. Any addresses not found in <spamd-white> are
     redirected to spamd. The following pf.conf(5) example is suggested:

         table <spamd-white> persist
         no rdr inet proto tcp from <spamd-white> to any \
             port smtp
         rdr pass inet proto tcp from any to any \
             port smtp -> port spamd

     spamd removes tuple entries from the /var/db/spamd database if delivery
     has not been retried within greyexp hours from the initial time a connec-
     tion is seen. The default is 4 hours as this is the most common setting
     after which MTAs will give up attempting to retry delivery of a message.

     spamd removes whitelist entries from the /var/db/spamd database if no
     mail delivery activity has been seen from the whitelisted address by
     spamlogd(8) within whiteexp hours from the initial time an address is
     whitelisted. The default is 36 days to allow for the delivery of monthly
     mailing list digests without greylist delays every time.

     spamd-setup(8) should be run periodically by cron(8). Use crontab(1) to
     uncomment the entry in root's crontab.

     spamlogd(8) should be used to update the whitelist entries in
     /var/db/spamd when connections are seen to pass to the real MTA on the
     smtp port.

     spamdb(8) can be used to examine and alter the contents of /var/db/spamd.
     See spamdb(8) for further information.

     spamd sends log messages to syslogd(8) using facility daemon and, with
     increasing verbosity, level err, warn, info, and debug. The following
     syslog.conf(5) section can be used to log connection details to a dedi-
     cated file:

           daemon.err;daemon.warn;daemon.info      /var/log/spamd


     When running spamd in default mode, it may be useful to define spamtrap
     destination addresses to catch spammers as they send mail from greylisted
     hosts. Such spamtrap addresses affect only greylisted connections to
     spamd and are used to temporarily blacklist a host that is obviously
     sending spam. Unused email addresses or email addresses on spammers'
     lists are very useful for this. When a host that is currently greylisted
     attempts to send mail to a spamtrap address, it is blacklisted for 24
     hours by adding the host to the spamd blacklist <spamd-greytrap>. Spam-
     trap addresses are added to the /var/db/spamd database with the following
     spamdb(8) command:

           # spamdb -T -a 'spamtrap@mydomain.org'

     See spamdb(8) for further details.

     The file /etc/mail/spamd.alloweddomains can be used to specify a list of
     domainname suffixes, one per line, one of which must match each destina-
     tion email address in the greylist. Any destination address which does
     not match one of the suffixes listed in spamd.alloweddomains will be
     trapped, exactly as if it were sent to a spamtrap address. Entries begin-
     ning with an equals sign ('=') will be taken as full match instead of
     suffix match. This can be used for whitelisting on recipient addresses,
     if the full set of possible localparts is known.

     For example, if spamd.alloweddomains contains:


     The following destination addresses would not cause the sending host to
     be trapped:


     However the following addresses would cause the sending host to be


     A low priority MX IP address may be specified with the -M option. When
     spamd has such an address specified, no host may enter new greylist tu-
     ples when connecting to this address; only existing entries may be updat-
     ed. Any host attempting to make new deliveries to the low priority MX for
     which a tuple has not previously been seen will be trapped.

     Note that is is important to ensure that a host running spamd with the
     low priority MX address active must see all the greylist changes for a
     higher priority MX host for the same domains, either by being synchron-
     ised with it, or by receiving the connections itself to the higher prior-
     ity MX on another IP address (which may be an IP alias). This will ensure
     that hosts are not trapped erroneously if the higher priority MX is una-
     vailable. For example, on a host which is an existing MX record for a
     domain of value 10, a second IP address with MX of value 99 (a higher
     number, and therefore lower priority) would ensure that any RFC confor-
     mant client would attempt delivery to the IP address with the MX value of
     10 first, and should not attempt to deliver to the address with MX value


     The normal way that spam has been dealt with in the past is to either ac-
     cept and drop, or outright block. When configured to use 450 responses,
     spamd takes neither of these actions: it rejects the mail back to the
     senders' queue.

     When running in default mode, the pf.conf(5) rules described above are
     sufficient. However when running in blacklist-only mode, a slightly modi-
     fied pf.conf(5) ruleset is required, redirecting any addresses found in
     the <spamd> table to spamd. Any other addresses are passed to the real

         table <spamd> persist
         rdr pass inet proto tcp from <spamd> to any \
             port smtp -> port spamd

     Addresses can be loaded into the table, like:

         # pfctl -q -t spamd -T replace -f /usr/local/share/spammers

     spamd-setup(8) can also be used to load addresses into the <spamd> table.
     It has the added benefit of being able to remove addresses from black-
     lists, and will connect to spamd over a localhost socket, giving spamd
     information about each source of blacklist addresses, as well as custom
     rejection messages for each blacklist source that can be used to let any
     real person whose mail is deferred by spamd know why their address has
     been listed from sending mail. This is important as it allows legitimate
     mail senders to pressure spam sources into behaving properly so that they
     may be removed from the relevant blacklists.


     spamd listens for configuration connections on the port identified by the
     named service "spamd-cfg" (see services(5)). The configuration socket
     listens only on the INADDR_LOOPBACK address. Configuration of spamd is
     done by connecting to the configuration socket, and sending blacklist in-
     formation, one blacklist per line. Each blacklist consists of a name, a
     message to reject mail with, and addresses in CIDR format, all separated
     by semicolons (;):

           tag;"rejection message";aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd/mm;aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd/mm

     The rejection message must be inside double quotes. A \" will produce a
     double quote in the output. \n will produce a newline. %A will expand to
     the connecting IP address in dotted quad format. %% may be used to pro-
     duce a single % in the output. \\ will produce a single \. spamd will re-
     ject mail by displaying all the messages from all blacklists in which a
     connecting address is matched. spamd-setup(8) is normally used to config-
     ure this information.


     spamd supports realtime synchronisation of greylisting states between a
     number of spamd daemons running on multiple machines, using the -Y and -y

     The following example will accept incoming multicast and unicast syn-
     chronisation messages, and send outgoing multicast messages through the
     network interface em0:

           # /usr/libexec/spamd -y em0 -Y em0

     The second example will increase the multicast TTL to a value of 2, add
     the unicast targets foo.somewhere.org and bar.somewhere.org, and accept
     incoming unicast messages sent to example.somewhere.org only.

           # /usr/libexec/spamd -y example.somewhere.org -Y em0:2 \
                   -Y foo.somewhere.org -Y bar.somewhere.org

     If the file /etc/mail/spamd.key exists, spamd will calculate the message-
     digest fingerprint (checksum) for the file and use it as a shared key to
     authenticate the synchronisation messages. The file itself can contain
     any data. For example, to create a secure random key:

           # dd if=/dev/arandom of=/etc/mail/spamd.key bs=2048 count=1

     The file needs to be copied to all hosts sending or receiving synchroni-
     sation messages.


     /etc/mail/spamd.alloweddomains    Required suffixes for greytrapping.
     /etc/mail/spamd.conf              Default configuration file.
     /etc/mail/spamd.key               Authentication key for synchronisation
     /var/db/spamd                     Greylisting database.


     pf.conf(5), services(5), spamd.conf(5), syslog.conf(5), pfctl(8), spamdsetup(8),
     spamdb(8), spamlogd(8), syslogd(8)


     The spamd command first appeared in OpenBSD 3.3.

     Previous versions of spamd required traps to be entered into the database
     including the enclosing <> characters; current versions expect only the
     email address without the enclosing <> characters.


     spamd currently uses the user "_spamd" outside a chroot jail when running
     in default mode, and requires the greylisting database in /var/db/spamd
     to be owned by the "_spamd" user. This is wrong and should change to a
     distinct user from the one used by the chrooted spamd process.

MirBSD #10-current               July 1, 2009                                5

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